Individual and Collective Rights

  • Martin van Hees
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 23)


In this chapter we shall introduce several types of right. The definitions of these types of right are based on the work of Stig Kanger, which in turn is an elaboration of the legal theory formulated by W.N. Hohfeld at the beginning of this century.1 Kanger formulated rights in terms of the notions of ‘obligation’ and ‘seeing to it that’. Since these concepts are also central notions of DLA and DLA*, it is possible to define Kanger’s typology of rights in terms of expressions of DLA and DLA*. After we have shown how such a ‘translation’ of the Kanger types of right into the languages DLA and DLA* can be achieved, we shall define specific kinds of rights structures, i.e., combinations of individual and collective rights.


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  1. 1.
    (Hohfeld 1919).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stig Kanger first presented his theory of rights in publications as early as 1957 and 1963. (Kanger 1971) is a revised version of the 1957 publication. The other essay was translated and revised in cooperation with Helle Kanger and was published in 1966. See also (Kanger 1972; Kanger 1985 ).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kanger defined types of right defined through the use of a deontic operator and an action operator. Kanger has used both the deontic operator ‘shall’ (Kanger and Kanger 1966; Kanger 1972) and the deontic operator ‘ought’ (Kanger 1971). In our exposition of Kanger’s theory we shall use the operator ‘shall’. Kanger has also used different action operators. In (Kanger and Kanger 1966) the action operator is interpreted as ‘causes that’, in his later work as ‘sees to it that’. We shall use the latter interpretation.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In figures 6.2 and 6.3 ‘claim’ stands for ‘at time t k, i has versus j (i j) a claim with respect to cp’, ‘not counterimmunity’ stands for ‘at time t k, i does not have versus j (i) a counterimmunity with respect to (p’, etc. The arrows in figure 6.2 should be interpreted in terms of C1-validity, or, if cp is a wff of DLA*, in terms of D1-validity of the corresponding implications. For instance, the arrow between claim and immunity represents the fact that the formula ‘Sha11Doltk,9) - Shall–Do1(tk,–cp)’ is C1-valid (D1-valid). In figure 6.3 the arrows represent C2-validity, or, in tite context of DLA*, D2-validity.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    In C2 and D2 a ‘claim’ is always equivalent to ‘not counterfreedom’. If cp is a wff of DLA (DLA*), saying that i has a claim versus j with respect to cp is equivalent to saying that i,with respect to cp, does not have a counterfreedom versus j: the formula ShallDoi(tk,cp) H ShallDo(tk,cp) is C2-valid (D2-valid). In this case, however, we do not delete both elements, but only ‘not counterfreedom’. In a similar way, we do not delete both ‘not freedom’ and ‘counterclaim’, but only ’not freedom’.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Where ‘immunity’ stands for ‘at time tk, i has versus j (i # j) an immunity with respect to (p’, ‘counterimmunity’ stands for ‘at time t k, i has versus j (i # j) a counterimmunity with respect to (p’, etc.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    On the other hand, it contains extra information since it specifies not only the legal relations existing with respect to states of affairs existing between pairs of individuals, but also the legal relations with respect to other future states of affairs.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Cf. Lindahl who uses the term ‘basic types of one-agent liberties’ (Lindahl 1977, p.106).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin van Hees
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Administration and Public PolicyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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